When I read Bill Bryson’s fantastic book “A Short History of Nearly Everything“, one of the things that stood out, was a reminder that the world is still a really big place.
Even though we feel that we can – with a credit card, and a solid visa – get pretty much anywhere in the world within 72 hours, the world is still HUGE on the ground level. There are large areas where – to our best knowledge – no man has ever set foot; it still takes days or even weeks of trekking to get to much of Earth’s surface; and humans are still to explore even 1% of world’s oceans.
This made me think of Douwe‘s Visited Countries project. You surely know this one – everybody and their grandma’s have been posting these maps on their blogs in the last 3 years, coloring the countries they’ve been to. But that’s not really fair – is it? I’ve been to Hong Kong, so I color China. I’ve been to a dozen cities or so in the US, that gives me half a continent. Looking at the colored map, it really feels like I’ve pretty much covered it – only some minor continents to go :).
Well, think again!
Above is a typical Visited Countries map of the countries I’ve visited. But look closer to see where I’ve REALLY been. The yellow dots are (roughly) the dots I’ve set foot in. I’m even pretty generous, I colored dots that I’ve only zoomed through in a train or on the motorway, (but skipped those I’ve seen out the plane window). And each dot is actually huge. Roughly estimated, a single dot on this map is about 3,000 square kilometers on average!
It now looks like I’ve still got some planes to catch!
P.S. I wonder if anyone will come up with a tool to make this type of map, as easily as Douwe’s original?
Cities i’ve visited from TripAdvisor is a little bit better. At least it shows the cities and not the whole continents.